Naloxone, alcohol abuse, why drug deaths remain high and a role for community pharmacy


Graham Parsons is the Chief Pharmacist at Turning Point. He is a pharmacist with a wide range of experience in many aspects of pharmacy.


As a specialist in Substance Misuse he has worked at both local, regional and national level (through the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, National Institute of Health and Care Excellence and Turning Point) to deliver a wide range of initiatives and policies which have impacted on both substance misuse services and the lives of individuals affected by substance use disorders. This has included over six years as a prescriber within the Plymouth Specialist Addiction Service. During this time he has also developed an interest in Mental Health and Pain and the management of these conditions in this cohort of patients.

Graham has also delivered a number of training sessions covering a diverse range of topics from substance misuse to Controlled Drug legislation for a number of institutes including the University of Bath and the Royal College of General Practitioners and developed Post Graduate addiction courses for Medway University. He is an experienced public speaker who has presented at many events including the College of Mental Health Pharmacy International Conference and on local BBC radio. In the written media he has produced a number of articles on substance misuse and its treatment for the Pharmaceutical Journal.


We had a wide-ranging discussion about the issues of the day in the area of substance misuse.


  1. There has been a move towards the use of Buvidal slow-release injection. Have you got any thoughts on this move especially in light of the current pandemic?
  2. What is the future of substance misuse services delivered through community pharmacy?
  3. What is the role of naloxone in community pharmacy?
  4. How can community pharmacy support alcohol brief interventions?
  5. Why are drug deaths still so high?
  6. How is polypharmacy relevant to the area of polypharmacy?
  7. Has nudge theory got a role in tackling the alcohol crisis in this country?



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